US & Canada

Air Jordan release sparks stampedes at stores across US

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Media captionPolice officers were called in to break up fights and restore order at the Carolina Place Mall in North Carolina

Rowdy scenes have broken out at stores across the US as shoppers jostled to lay their hands on Nike's new shoe.

There was disorder from California to Georgia as shoppers vied to buy a retro version of a classic Air Jordan model.

A new pair costs about $180 (£115), but they are already being listed on eBay for as much as $605.

The ugly scenes recalled the violence that broke out in the early 1990s on streets across America as the shoes became popular targets for thieves.

In the early hours of Friday, police used pepper spray on about 20 customers who started fighting at a mall in suburban Seattle, Washington state, as they queued to buy the black-and-white Air Jordan 11 Retro Concords.


One man was arrested for allegedly punching a police officer.

"He did not get his shoes. He went to jail," Officer Mike Murphy said.

He added: "It was not a nice, orderly group of shoppers. There were a lot of hostile and disorderly people."

In other disturbances:

  • At least four people were arrested after customers broke down a door at a store selling the shoes in Lithonia, Georgia
  • There was an attempted robbery on a victim who was mistakenly believed to have just bought the shoes in Stockton, California
  • About 100 shoppers forced their way into a shopping centre in Taylor, Michigan
  • A gunshot rang out as shoppers queued in Richmond, California, although no injuries were reported
  • Disorder was also reported in Charlotte, North Carolina; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Omaha, Nebraska

A spokesperson for Nike was not immediately available to comment.

The original Air Jordan created a subculture of collectors who rarely wore the sneaker but were willing to wait hours to buy the latest pair.

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